Your Green Life: "Seed Saving"

By KBJR News 1

August 11, 2011 Updated Aug 11, 2011 at 9:13 AM CDT

Buying locally grown foods is a way to live greener, and it doesn't get any more local than your own backyard.

If you had good luck with your produce this summer, there are ways you can keep your favorite strains of plants for next year as meteorologist Jeff Edmondson explains in "Your Green Life."

Saving seeds is an appealing process for gardeners who don't like to see anything go to waste.

"Saving Seeds means getting your seeds from your own garden, rather than ordering them from a seed company. The main reason for saving seeds is so that you can be sure that you got the variety you want to grow again"

For most of history, seed saving was vital to our survival, but since seed companies took over in the late 18 hundreds, this simple practice has been forgotten.

But the experts say it is essential to maintain genetic diversity in plants.

If you raise your garden organically, the bonus is that the seeds you save will also be of that quality and better adapted to your own backyard.

"Season by season you are inventing a strain of seed that is best suited for your own garden, rather than starting over fresh with seeds that were produced, who knows, far away maybe."

Saving seeds is simple, but there are a few things you need to know.

The easiest seeds to save are from self pollinating annuals such as beans, lettuce, or tomatoes.

Seed must be mature before it is gathered which often means leaving plants in your garden longer than you're used to.

Allow the seeds to dry thoroughly before you store them and keep them in airtight containers.

"For longer storage, best to keep the opposite to what they want to grow. They want to be cool. Not warm. Dry, not moist, and dark not light."

Seed saving allows you to be directly connected to the environment and be involved with the entire plant life cycle from germination to harvest.

A little warning here! Since hybrid plants have different parents, their seeds may be different from what you planted, so they can revert back to characteristics of previous generations.

In Duluth, meteorologist Jeff Edmondson, the Northlands NewsCenter.